Mrs. Marlene Street-Forrest, General Manager of the Jamaica Stock Exchange, (JSE) advised corporate entities to always operate at the highest standards by making disclosures that will enable shareholders to apprise the position of the company and to avoid the establishment of a false market in the Company’s securities. The JSE General Manager was speaking at the Caribbean Corporate Governance’s (CCGI) one-day workshop held earlier this month, to explore the issues of best practices and board accountability, disclosures, audits and evaluations within corporate entities. “The fundamental principle is that all persons invested in a Company’s securities must have equal access to information which allow investors to have a better understanding of a Company’s Corporate Governance Practices,” Mrs. Street Forrest said. She emphasised that in keeping the communication lines open, disclosure of information to shareholders should be timely, factual and balanced with sufficient details to enable investors and the general public to appreciate the true substance and importance of the information.
Uncertainty as to when to disclose will arise and must be governed by what is considered material and some general test in respect to issues that may have a significant change in the market price, volume or value of the securities and unusual trading,” Street Forrest pointed out. In speaking to Best Practices Mrs. Carolyn DaCosta, Company Secretary of Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB), panellist at the workshop, warned that non-disclosure of critical information on financial and operating results can negatively affect the branding of a company. “Almost all corporate governance codes around the world, specifically require that Board of Directors provide information on the current affairs of the business and their future development and succession planning,” said Mrs. DaCosta. Other speakers at the workshop included; Mr. Dennis Brown, Director CCGI and Institute of Chartered Accountants (ICAJ); Mrs. Suzanne Ffolkes-Goldson, Attorney-atLaw, Lecturer, UWI, Mona Campus; Mr. David Hall, President, Institute of Internal Auditors Ms. Ann Marie Rhoden, Deputy Financial Secretary, Public Enterprises Division, Ministry of Finance and Planning; and Dr. Axel Kravatzky, Chairman CCGI. The Caribbean Corporate Governance Institute is a not-for-profit membership based organization that provides world-class training, professional development, and networking for Directors and Senior Executives. The Institute works closely across various stakeholder groups to establish and maintain appropriate corporate governance standards and guidance for organizations and investors operating in the Caribbean.